by Brian DeChesare Comments (91)

How to Get Into Investment Banking If You Were a Male Escort in Tokyo in a Former Life

Limousine in TokyoJust how old is “too old” to get into finance?

If you want to work in distressed investing, do you need to start at a bank’s Restructuring group first?

What if you’re a serial entrepreneur?

Oh, and what if you were a male escort in a former life?

Today we’re going to take a look at Experienced Transitions and how you might get into finance / investment banking if you’re NOT an undergraduate, MBA student, or recent graduate.

Help Me, M&I, You’re My Only Hope

1. I’m 50 years old, but recently got interested in investment banking. Can I get in?

You can, but not at the Analyst/Associate level – you would need to be in a related field like law or PE and use your senior-level relationships to get in at the senior level. I know of Partner-level lawyers who have done this.

I’m sure someone will try to find a counter-example, so go ahead: I challenge you to find a single example of a 50-year old being hired as an Analyst or Associate.

2. Most of your advice is targeted at recent grads. What would you say if I’m in my mid-30s, have an MBA, and have started several companies before?

I would say, “It’s tough.” Ordinarily I would say, “Go to business school,” but you’ve already done that – so your best bet is to pitch yourself as having a lot of relationships in a particular industry, and get hired at a more senior level.

It’s hard to get into the industry at the mid-level because banks like either 1) Young people who are more “malleable” or 2) Very senior people with a wealth of relationships.

3. I graduated two years ago and decided to move overseas and work for the finance department of a large company. I opened up dozens of new branches and got great experience, but now I want to get back into investment banking – can I do it?

You can, but I would not even bother with bulge brackets unless you have some type of killer connection. Go for boutiques or any firm/group that specializes in the industry you were in.

It’s too early for business school for you, so if you’re really serious I would start networking and see what kind of response you get.

4. I worked in private equity for 3 years out of undergraduate, and then got my MBA. I’m back to my old PE firm now, but I want to move into investment banking. Yes, you read that correctly: I know it’s the opposite of what most people do. What should I do?

If you’re already done with your MBA, you can’t really take advantage of on-campus recruiting so you’ll have to network a lot – which shouldn’t be that hard, considering you work in private equity and must know a lot of bankers.

Their key question will be “WHY?!!!” so you better have a really, really, really, super-good “reason why” or you won’t make it very far.

5. I’m a recently-laid-off attorney who worked on a lot of Restructuring deals – I want to move into Distressed Investing, but do I need to go to a bank first? I want to avoid that if possible.

Not necessarily. The main question will be “Can you count?” so you need to do something to demonstrate that you know basic valuation and modeling – whether that’s independent study, training programs, or taking classes.

At your level, you could also consider contacting headhunters directly because you have some very relevant experience.

6. I originally wanted to do biomedical research in university – but then I decided to do business at the last-minute and have worked at a finance research firm for the past year. How can I convince banks that I know enough about finance to do the job?

See above: independent study, classes, financial modeling training programs. Keep in mind that a big part of any interview is confidence. Even if you don’t know exactly what you’re talking about, if you can say it confidently sometimes they won’t notice.

I would also suggest going after healthcare-focused boutiques, healthcare/medical research-focused equity research groups, etc. to take advantage of your background.

7. I have 5 years of experience as a stock broker and did my undergraduate degree in Computer Science – what’s my best option for working at a bulge bracket bank?

Ah, finally an easy one: a top business school.

8. I used to own my own business, and then I went to Tokyo and “worked” at a club where I had to pick up Japanese girls on the street and talk them into visiting my club and buying $5000 bottles of Cognac to drink with me.

I made a lot of money but got tired of being a “male escort,” so I moved back to the US and am finishing up my undergraduate degree now. Am I “interesting” enough to get interviews?

Dude, I would hire you on the spot just for having been a male escort in Tokyo. You sound way cooler than AJ.

You will definitely catch bankers’ attention with that kind of “story” – but keep in mind that you also need to have a good reason for going into finance, and you need to show them that you know something about the industry.

And, of course, if you’re not a top school you will need to make an intense networking effort to have a good shot of getting interviews.


That’s Networking + Etiquette, not Internet Etiquette…

9. Should I attach my resume when I’m cold-emailing boutiques with my “pitch?”

Yes. If you’re cold-emailing to ask explicitly about jobs, don’t beat around the bush: show them why you’re good, and then follow-up until you hear back.

10. What are the rules for following up after you’ve met bankers at information sessions?

This is a broad question but the most important points are:

  1. Always have a “reason why” – a request, suggestion to meet, a question, etc. Don’t just say, “Hi, how are you?”
  2. You don’t need to follow-up based on some arbitrary timeline, but try to stay in touch at least once every 2-3 months.
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask about recruiting/interviews, especially if it’s close to recruiting season – if you’ve made a good impression they will help you.

11. You’ve written before about cold-calling boutique and merchant banks, but where can I find a list of firms by region?

I’m not one to drop blatant hints about upcoming additions and new products, but you should watch this site very closely over the next month.

12. You mentioned before we should contact recruiters at banks directly if we have exploding offers – but what’s the best way to get their contact information?

The best way is to talk to your friends at these banks and get referrals directly from them – failing that, go through your school’s resources, look on the banks’ websites, or even try simple Google searches like “Bank Name” + “recruiter.” This sounds stupid, but it actually works.

Wait, So What Should I Do With My Life Now?

Hey, it happens to all of us: who really knows what they’re doing, right?

13. I finished my summer internship, but I worked at a “sourcing” private equity firm and didn’t like the work that much. Is there any advantage to working at this type of firm?

Personally I would hate cold-calling dozens of places each day, but there are some benefits to the experience:

  1. You can write “Private Equity” on your resume.
  2. Helps with networking / moving to other firms later.
  3. Still better than something completely unrelated to finance.
  4. Helps with business school admissions.

14. What happens to bankers who get laid off? Is my life over?

No, but you have to move to Buenos Aires. Or if you’re female, sit around your apartment ordering food off Seamless Web and finding a different guy every night.

15. I have an offer at a boutique bank I interned with, but don’t know if I should take it. There’s almost no modeling involved – just qualitative work. Could I still move somewhere better coming from this background?

If that is your best option I would definitely take it. You can still move somewhere else after this type of experience, though you may want to do some independent study to convince them you know enough about valuation and modeling.

16. Is it better to work at a smaller bank and get great deal experience or move to a bulge bracket and be in a less active group?

I hate to say it, but even if your group sucks you will have better luck with recruiting at a bulge bracket bank. Yes, it’s stupid, but that’s just the way it works.

If you go somewhere small you can still end up on the buy-side – but you won’t be at KKR or Blackstone.


Your favorite category.

17. Have you thought about posting photos and stories from your life in Asia here?

Just look at how pissed people got when I said the CFA was a waste of time – now imagine if I wrote about things that were actually controversial, extremely politically incorrect, and completely unrelated to the topic of this site.

18. I noticed that “Harvard” and “Yale” were at opposite ends of your speaking list on the About page – does this have any significance?

Yes, it means you’re reading this site way too much. It’s called “alphabetical order.”

19. Can you write an article about The 4-Hour Workweek and how to apply it to investment banking?

No need for an entire article: “Don’t go into finance” is your answer.

Take a look at this article on how to succeed by slacking off – I’m also writing something on how to apply the 80/20 Rule to your recruiting efforts.

M&I - Brian

About the Author

Brian DeChesare

is the Founder of Mergers & Inquisitions and Breaking Into Wall Street. In his spare time, he enjoys memorizing obscure Excel functions, editing resumes, obsessing over TV shows, traveling like a drug dealer, and defeating Sauron.

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  1. ola Brian,
    I have been hired recently at a Boutique Investment Bank as an intern for the next 7+ Months for a stipend half that of my entire expenses during this tenure. So should I take up this opportunity to enter IB with low stipends or should I look out for some other offers.

    Having said that, I am an Undergraduate from India.

    Wait for your reply.


    1. M&I - Nicole

      If you don’t have other offers or final round interviews on hand now, I’d take this offer because it may open you more doors

      1. Thanks Nicole for reply,

        No for time being I have no offers and maybe not in the next 2 months.

        Is it better to opt for an internship or CFA etc?

        1. M&I - Nicole

          An internship maybe the best bet.

          1. Thank you Nicole, Kudos!

  2. Hi,

    I am 33 years and Senior IT analyst and programmer with over 10 years experience in Financial services (leasing), insurance and superannuation administration. I am a part time student at Melbourne business school. Its one of top MBA programs in Australasia. I am really interested in moving into M&A/wealth management/Financial risk management. Is it a realistic goal or my 10 years of IT experience makes it hard? I am trying to know how i-banks will see my past experience.


    1. M&I - Nicole

      I think WM/FRM may be more realistic for you, particularly FRM with an IT focus. M&A maybe more challenging because you don’t have the deal experience.

      1. Thanks Nicole! One of my friends from M&A background also suggested FRM with IT and analytics in banking and WM industry. Could you point me to resources/links where I can I can go and get some understanding of selection process, resume, networking strategy for entry into WM and FRM industry with MBA? Is it same as banking?

        1. M&I - Nicole

          I’m pretty sure the networking process is similar, if not the same. Resume, like IB, focus on the impact you’ve made, quantify your results, and elaborate on experiences that are transferable (i.e. risk management projects etc). Selection process – this depends on the bank I believe. Publication –

  3. I’m 27 working as a project analyst for an engineering firm and have just under 5 years experience in this type of role between two firms. I’ve got my bachelors in Finance and I am currently getting my MBA with a concentration in Finance estimated completion late 2015(I’ll be 29). I’m looking to move more towards an IB analyst type position now. My undergrad and MBA(University of Texas at Dallas) aren’t top tier schools but I’m hoping my concentration in finance and work experience will help me…or not. If you could let me know what my chances are or if I should try a different area of finance. Thanks!

  4. the tips you have shown really helps newbies like us .keep sharing.very very thanks.

    1. M&I - Nicole

      Thanks for visiting our site!

  5. R-U- Cha

    Can you guide me on my career path… i worked as a banker for a year and tried to pursue my CFA… but i cudnt make it, n lost my job too… I am currently working on small assignments in small start ups, i really need guidance in order to get a better job!

    1. M&I - Nicole

      Be persistent and network a lot. If you really want IB, maybe a top tier MBA will help

  6. Hi, I am a Petroleum engineer with a MSc in petroleum engineering and BEng Chemical engineering. I have worked 3 years with BP as a reservoir engineer and had 2 years freelancing. I would like to move into the energy sector in investment banking as I have industry experience. What are my chances at somewhere like JP Morgan?? I am considering taking a MBA.

    1. M&I - Nicole

      I think you will have a higher chance after an MBA at a target school.

  7. Is 26 a problem if you’ve interned @ a Mid-market bank (Standard Bank Group-South African Bank) in investment banking at Ghana West Africa; I have strong networks there?
    Secondly, about networking I’ve built a good relationship with two people, one is a VP Corporate restructurer in RBS & one is an Operations Director @ GS. Which one of these two people should I ask for help to break into Finance as I’m interested in Global Capital Markets internship?
    NB: I’ll be 26 when I start my Msc Finance & 27 when I complete

    Please reply thanks

  8. Hi Brian, I need some advice!

    I’m 26 and graduated from a highly-ranked research university where I received a (first class) Honours degree in mathematics. Instead of pursuing a full-time job right afterwards (in the “real-world”), I stayed behind at uni to wrack up an array of teaching experience, including some lecturing (partly because I loved tertiary teaching and partly because the hourly rate is so absurdly high). I’m now thinking of having a crack at IB, but am not sure how to go about it. I would qualify as someone “more than 3 years out of undergrad”, but at the same time I effectively have no real prolonged full-time work experience, which means no chance of an MBA. My worry is that you keep mentioning how analysts are only pooled from undergrads. Should someone like me, at an already-not-so-young age of 26, still strive for an analyst position? Cheers.

    1. M&I - Nicole

      Yes. 26 is only a few years older than the normal analyst pool though it may be tough for you to break in since you lack work experience. I’d try to network and possibly intern for free for an IB for a couple months

    2. Is 26 a problem if you’ve interned @ a Mid-market bank (Standard Bank Group-South African Bank) in investment banking at Ghana West Africa; I have strong networks there?

      Secondly, about networking I’ve built a good relationship with two people, one is a VP Corporate restructurer in RBS & one is an Operations Director @ GS. Which one of these two people should I ask for help to break into Finance as I’m interested in Global Capital Markets internship?

      NB: I’ll be 26 when I start my Msc Finance & 27 when I complete

      1. M&I - Nicole

        No, 26 will not be too old

        Both – Don’t know how useful they will be since they are in different divisions but they might have contacts who can help

  9. If FT has ranked Durham University @ 28th place as the top Pre-Experience Msc In Finance Programme, will it increase my chances of getting an internship at a bulge bracket firm as the school isn’t closer to London?

    And also the school programme organises a trip to firms in London & it’s also a target school & a top 5 UK school!

    As I come from a non target school could I apply for an summer internship if I held an offer from the above target school or is it best to apply after I start my Msc in Finance!

    1. M&I - Nicole

      Please only post one question once on the site. Pls check the other post for our response to your same question

  10. If FT has ranked Durham University @ 28th place as the top Pre-Experience Msc In Finance Programme will it increase my chances ofwheatong an internship at a bulge bracket firm as the school isn’t closer to London?

    And also the school programme organises a trip to firms in London & it’s also a target school & a top 5 UK school!

    1. M&I - Nicole

      Maybe. You should speak to the career center at the school and see how many people they place at banks

  11. Although I have never been a male escort in the true sense of the profession I am willing to most anything to get into investment banking. I do have a MBA (not from a top school), and I currently work as a Financial Advisor for one of the big firms, MS. Is there a move I can make within the firm that would be more productive to obtaining a career in investment banking or should I approach it the manner as you have suggested to others with a MBA from lessor known universities?

    1. M&I - Nicole

      I’d network w investment bankers intensively, learn modelling and really understand why you want to get into IB

  12. I’m now 24, 1 year of experience being an engineer who has had great exposure to the asia pacific regions. I do day-trading after work, have little knowledge of the finance but did some self-study on modeling. Not considering MBA as it will spend me another 4 years and yet the prospect might not be that promosing. How could i position myself to get into banking and what would be the best bet?

  13. I’m 35 old, I have a bachelors degree in management, I have about 6 years working in real estate and looking to get into IB, I was wondering if I’m too old to go back to school for a MBA in finance and then look for a job? All I hear is that you have to be young to be an IB.

    1. M&I - Nicole

      You can check out real estate IB groups and real estate investment funds. I don’t think its necessary to get an MBA to get a job in finance if you already have real estate experience.

  14. Question: As a sophmore in high school with the ability and statistics to get into Harvard or Wharton and who has just found your site, where should I begin?

    1. And I’d like to be a portfolio manager of things that are internet/technology related.

  15. Im 23years old going into the army for 3 years. played golf all my life and i meet alot of high class people and i communicate well with them BUT i recently got really interested in investment banking because my uncle is into stock and thought why dont you give it a shot? do i even have a chance?

    1. Depends on what kind of school you’ve attended, grades, and so on. If you have not gone to a top school then your chances are low.

  16. Great site!

    So, I’m curious to know if you had any tips for folks looking to break into finance from consulting. I work in a boutique management consulting firm that was recently bought out by a Big 4 accounting firm.

    My background includes engineering (with a master’s degree) – but I never used any of it in consulting, well, except to build the occasional cost model.

    As a mid-career candidate, I’ve worked on M&As, operational restructuring, incremental revenue opportunities and assorted fun stuff, but I’m looking to move into the PE/VC world.

    Any thoughts or pointers? Cheers.

    1. 1. Network with any banks / finance people you’ve worked with before and any alumni in the field… also talk to TAS at your new parent company. 2. Emphasize finance/analytical experience, especially LBO models for PE and show that you’ve learned independently.
      3. Prove you can work 80-100 hours per week, which is a big change from the consulting lifestyle.

  17. I went to a “target school” and upon graduation went straight to Japan to embark in intensive Japanese language study for 1 and a half years. During this time I have been able to pass the nationally recognized standardized test (JLPT) that shows I have equivalent to/or above business level Japanese. Before I graduate I did corporate financing for a regional firm (capital budgeting) but have no real experience in investment banking itself. Has going to language school straight after graduation hurt my chances immensely for getting into investment banking in Japan? Would different departments have different standards of looking at this language study decision (FO-trading as oppose to BO-operations)?

    1. Just to add, I majored in Economics.

    2. It’s better than doing nothing, but you’re still at a disadvantage next to people who have been working in finance or related fields. The problem is that most banks there recruit people straight out of undergrad. Language skills are most useful for front-office work in investment banking, they’re not as useful in trading or the back office.

      1. Many Thanks! I’ve been trying to find the answer to that question for a long time.

        Even though banks recruit people straight out of undergrad, would there be any chance they would bend the rules, like for a particular case for certain positions? For like, say, back office-Trade settlement for example (any others where there would be a slight%)?

        I’m thinking of going to the Boston Career fair in 1 months time even though it seems all the firms are targeting undergraduates/new graduates. Would this even worthwhile, seeing that all the firms list that “new graduates” are under their requirements list?

        (Sorry for the double post on that other thread)

        1. Occasionally they do but it’s more common in a bull market (2005-2007). Boston Career Forum will help but I’m still not sure how traditional Japanese firms would react – you’d have better luck going to international BBs recruiting for Tokyo there.

          1. Thanks!

            For an appropriate fee, would you be available to do a phone Q&A question and answer session? There are many questions which I’ve been struggling to find the answer to and it seems you are the right person to ask. I am reachable at my (unpublished) email, perhaps we can work out the details there?

          2. I do not offer consulting but you may want to check online on other sites or forums for someone who can help.

  18. I have just been accepted into a computer science degree course at a TOP University, could I still break into investment banking once I’ve finished and done a masters in finance?

  19. Lily Glass

    Do those who switch into finance from other industries continue to do work in their respective fields? Such as the partner-level lawyers getting senior positions – do they focus on law? otherwise, how can they switch into high-level positions?

    1. They may have more of a legal focus / work more with lawyers, but there isn’t much overlap – usually they are brought over because they have a lot of relationships the firm can use

  20. Hi Brian,

    I just discovered the website and find it quite interesting and informative.
    I’m originally Russian, who’s based in London now.
    I’ve got no previous work experience as such except some part-time work as a baby-sitter. I’m doing masters in business administration at college and previously studied physics in Russian university. But I want to break into Investment Banking now, and looking for an intern at the moment.
    I’m a natural leader and used to be a group rep in uni and school for many years. So, basically that’s what I can put on my CV along with general education and awards in mathematics and physics.
    However, I just read that recruiters are looking for those who can take orders without too much delegation..
    I still want to go into Investment Banking though!

    Yet, I have to admit that I was a bit worried that my social profiles highlighting my vibrant and dynamic social and personal life may damage my image and make me “unemployable” – reading the story about “male escorting” it actually looks like I should put it on my CV in bold to get hired! =D

    In other words, what I thought is selling me in fact might working against me, and what I didn’t want recruiters to know much about could be a good selling point!!..

    How can I go about this please, anyway, to get my CV right to break into Investment Banking?


    1. You can list more creative experience but you should focus on leadership positions / internships on your CV.

  21. I have some fairly strong political and family connections in the banking industry in China (and yes, native in Chinese). I’ve been working as a quant in US for a couple of years and I hate it. Just wondering what would be an appropriate and efficient way to pitch my background/connections if I want to break into banking/PE/China focused AM/HF (non quant) in US. Plan is to go back to Asia in 5 years.

    1. I wouldn’t say it initially but just casually mention it interviews after you explain your interest in China. Pitch too hard / before you have interviews lined up and it will backfire

      1. Thanks a lot. I’m pretty confident with my (onsite) interview skills but, I’ve had a hard time to get to that stage without saying anything about connections coz my quant background in a BB is not really helping. Could you recommend some alternative that wouldn’t backfire?

        1. It’s hard to say without knowing about your background but I would just talk about any work you’ve done that’s related to banking/PE and talk about how you’ve been more than just a quant… pull from activities, school, etc. if necessary.

  22. krishna patil

    i did my undergrad in engineering.I am working in information technology.
    Have been working in IT for nearly around 3 yrs after my grad
    Would it be possble for a person to get an MBA from progs such as SMU Cox and tryto get into smaller(or read less known) IB and after gaining 1 or 2 yrs of Exp using the exp move to a bigger IB(read BB ones)….?

    1. You could, but it’s a much better bet to go for well-known / full-time MBA programs instead

  23. How much worse is a college such as Wisconsin-Madison than the Ivy leagues for getting into investment banking, especially in NYC?

    1. It does not give you access to recruiting / recruiters and not as many banks come to your school, so it’s significantly harder to get in from there.

  24. I’ve been trying to set up some accelerated interviews bc of an exploding offer I have from one of the M/B/B firms. However, when I talk to the recruiters, they say that they can’t interview earlier to accommodate me because of my school’s recruitment policy.

    Should I be trying to reach out to different people or am I missing something here?

    1. Hmm that sounds strange – I would try speaking to other contacts aside from recruiters, but if it really is your school’s policy you can’t do a whole lot in this situation besides find companies that don’t care about the policy.

  25. I’ve been contact by the Operations recruiting at a BB to interview for a rotational FT program. Will interviewing for this position now be a bad idea if I really want to interview for an IB position, especially having made their superday during the spring? Should I just ask to be referred to the IB recruiting instead? (Although getting a job whether front or back office would be good in this market)

    1. I would either interview with them, or turn it down… asking to be referred elsewhere is kind of awkward. If you really want IB then I would not do this, although if it’s your only option or you don’t have much time left, you may have to.

  26. Just received my FT offer but cant leverage it since I have no contacts at other banks…

    Oh and googling “Bank name”+ recruiter does not work, come on…

    1. Well, I don’t know what to tell you: networking is huge, and you need to know people elsewhere if you want to move elsewhere.

      Either go through your school, go through friends at other schools, or ask around on message boards to see if anyone can help.

      And yes, Google searches do actually work but they are more effective at smaller banks. You have to look through several pages first and do some digging on your own, but you would be surprised at what you can find online.

  27. Hey Brian, I have been following the blog for quite a while and have a quick question:

    I noticed a lot of banks will come to campus in the fall for full time positions (mixers, career fair, etc) and then again in the winter for summer internship positions. As a rising junior hoping for a spot in a summer internship program, would it make sense to attend these fall full time events and try to connect with the recruiters ahead of time, or is this just crossing the line?


    1. Yes that is certainly a good idea – always helps to start early.


    Hi Brian,

    Just wanted to ask some quick question.

    1. If i did my undergraduate degree in the UK at a highly respected university will it be difficult for me to transition into working in a BB firm in NY?

    2.How would I fare against someone who has gone to a highly respected univeristy in the US?

    3. I am also thinking about going to NUS (National University of Singapore). How do bankers generally view this university in BB firms in NYC?

    1. 1. The main difficulty is access to recruiters – you’ll either have to fly to the US to attend networking events, or see if anyone recruits for NY offices in the UK. I suspect it will be very London-focused, so you’ll have to make some in-person trips.

      2. They would probably have an advantage for US offices, mostly just due to distance.

      3. People in the US are generally pretty ignorant of universities outside the US – they just know about LSE, Oxford, etc. but I don’t think that NUS is very well-known. It would take some explaining if you were to present it to BB firms in NYC.

      1. Sheldon C.

        I’m in Canada, so how would I go about getting information on NY networking events? I would like to attend these events since the trip from Toronto to New York is not that bad. Only an 8 hour bus ride, or a 1 hour plane ride.

        Do you think the Richard Ivey School of Business is at least a little bit known in NY BBs? I know that this school pales in comparison to the Ivies, but it is the best business program (especially concerning finance) Canada has to offer.

        1. I would talk to your friends in the US and also contact any alumni from your school who work in NYC to set up meetings. And yes I think people will know your school, the real question is how many alumni you can find who are working in NYC.


        1 .Do you think its worth making many trips to NYC just so I can work there as opposed to London?

        2. What do you think about me getting into a BB firm in london and moving within the firm to NYC?

        3. How does London fare against NYC?

        4. I just so happen to be going to LSE so I’m hoping thats good enough to get into a BB firm in NYC.

        1. These questions are hard to answer because neither one of these cities is “better” or “worse,” they’re just different. If you want to work in the US in the long-term, then yes, I would try to start in NYC. You can try to move later on, but it’s not easy and you need to know someone in another office well and have them pull for you to have a good shot.

          If you’re really serious about starting in NY instead, then yes, I would make in-person trips and network with alumni etc. there because that is your best chance of getting in.

  29. Did you discontinue the resume review service?

    1. Yes, talk to Kevin at Management Consulted if you want resume editing.

  30. Undergrad_Banker

    You say that exit opportunities are fewer if coming from a small bank. Would Lazard/Rothschild be considered small banks – i.e. would working at either institution hurt my chances of moving to a large PE firm?

    1. Your chances will be lower at those places. Some people from Lazard do get into the largest firms, but if you look at the bios on websites, most large places are dominated by former bulge bracket analysts… recruiters just tend to focus on them.

      Don’t worry, though: large PE firms are a waste of time unless you really want to work 100 hours per week for the rest of your life.

  31. Whats the best way to network/meet with MBAs as an undergrad at my university? Whats the best way to find people with a banking background?


    1. Either look them up online in your database or go to business school clubs/meetings.

  32. Hi,

    I was wondering if there was any information on day to day job decriptons of your post banking options. IE: what do people in the US treasury do / corp fin / anything not related to PE. I know for sure that i am done with IB after this stint but i dont want to jump into jobs that give essentially the same life styles (PE/ some of the HFs). Also do headhunters get jobs like this for you? Probably not since i dont see the govnt paying them out, so wondering how the recruiting would work then.


    1. I’m not sure I understand your question but I don’t know that much about non-finance options… will see if there can be an interview soon. Headhunters sometimes help with those types of options, but not with anything government-related.

  33. Can you do an article or a section of an article about what s best to do in high school besides trying to get into a target school? Especially if you live in (damn) Canada.

    1. If you’re in high school stop thinking about investment banking… go do something fun and get into a good college, if you try too hard at that age you will look like a tool later on.

      1. Summer Analyst

        I thought about banking in high school. I regret that A LOT…

        1. There we have it, confirmation from an actual summer analyst that being too serious at too young an age just hurts you later on

  34. Wow, somebody asked about Harvard and Yale being on opposite sides of your list? Lol!

    I’m looking forward to the article on the 80/20 rule for recruiting!

    I’m wondering if there’s any difference in a recruiter’s eyes between “intern” and “summer analyst.” If two items on a resume are EXACTLY the same except for the title, one being “intern” and the other “summer analyst,” does the “summer analyst” have the advantage over the “intern” because of the title? Does it not really matter? Am I looking too far into this?


    1. I think you’re thinking WAY too much about this but I would just list Summer Analyst.

      80/20 Lesson 1: Don’t think a lot about irrelevant items…

      1. Haha it’s not something that I’m killing myself over. I just wanted to perfectly clarify what my question was to avoid ambiguity :)

        Thanks for lesson 1 of 80/20 ;)

  35. I rather like the male escort story…

    he can definitely sell himself on his client relations skills.

    1. I would just hire anyone who used to be a male escort on the spot, no questions asked.

      1. I just got my MBA from a good school (not top tier tho), am 30, have no experience in finance.
        I speak 4 languages and have been working in 5 different countries around the world: I think I just attract people naturally.
        In other words my “life experience” sounds much like the male escort one. I now have some good contact to step into PE. What you think are the chances? Can I mainly leverage on my relationship skills? Which role/position would best fit for me in that world?

        Your articles are super-powerful btw! Good job!


        1. It is still difficult because PE is prestige-driven and so you only have a good shot if you start at smaller firms and aggressively network.

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